On Thursday, September 11th, as there has been for the past seven years, citizens of Athens/Limestone County are being given an opportunity to gather on the steps of the East side of the Limestone County Courthouse at noon and pause to remember what happened on that day. They will also have the chance to bind together and seek the One who “has the whole world in His hands.” The question, however that emits from the sleepy and or the cynical is, “Why should we bother?”
I will answer that question a number of ways, but let me begin by talking about my dad, Lt. Roy White, Jr., USN Air Corps, WWII, Pacific Theatre. During the war, my father flew PBYs and P-51 Mustangs, among other aircraft. He was not what you would describe as a very emotional man, at least not outwardly. He, like so many of the Greatest Generation, pretty much sealed off that era of his life, and went on to work hard and embody the American Dream.
My mother tells me, however, that the effect of the long ago war upon my dad was seen most clearly when, toward the end of his life, they took a trip to Hawaii. They went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and my dad, who by that time was terminally ill, wept openly. He had not been at Pearl when it was attacked, as he was in college, but it was Pearl Harbor that drove him to join the Navy and become an officer, something I never thanked him for, but will do so when I see him again.
We bother to gather for the same reason my parents went to Pearl--to give somber respect and remembrance to the fact that evil temporarily triumphed, and what it cost then and costs now to triumph over it. At the end of the day, it needs to be acknowledged that what overtook Japan, the Axis Powers, and those who flew the planes into the Twin Towers were not just the ravings of mad men. It was the timeless manifestation of a defeated, spiritual evil that will keep trying until the last Judgment.
It needs to be remembered that the Grand Mufti of Baghdad was the one who advised Adolph Hitler as to how to successfully bring about the Final Solution, and those two strange bedfellows united by their mutual hatred of the Jewish people nearly succeeded in their quest.
It needs to be remembered that the reason Thomas Jefferson had a copy of the Koran was because he, as the 3rd President of nascent United States of America, was battling jihad far away on the Barbary Coast, and he wanted to familiarize himself, if he could, with the mindset of our attackers. Have you ever wondered why the Marine Hymn includes “…to the shores of Tripoli?” That’s why. We were being attacked at sea by jihadists who were demanding that our ships pay high tributes to the Axis of Evil of its day, located on the Barbary coasts of North Africa. Jihadists believe that non-Muslims, in order to be granted the right to live, must pay what is known as the “dhimmi,” or mandatory tribute. If you don’t pay, and if you don’t convert, you die. That is what the Holy Koran requires, and Jefferson knew it. He didn’t pay it, we didn’t pay it, and we are still not going to pay it, if we keep our spiritual resolve as well as our spine.
We might have to, though, pay with our blood again to successfully resist it, and if we have a snowball’s chance in a very hot place of surviving as a culture, our only hope is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. His name is Yahweh, He sent His triumphant Son to quench evil, and we invite the sleepy, the cynical, and anyone else who is interested in being free to take some time to gather, to remember, and to pray. Oh, and by the way, if you show, the Thin Blue Line will be wrapped around you to keep you safe while you do so.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner